Winning, or serving the public?

I find myself puzzled at the Long Beach City Council procedures of July 5, 2011 wherein the City Council appeared to accept (without public input) a map of proposed revised boundaries for the 8th district. I invite correction if my understanding of the facts is wrong. 
This is what I believe took place: 1) Before attending the meeting, the public had maps of two proposed boundaries dividing the 7th and 8th districts. One was Councilmember James Johnson’s proposed map, which had been previously prepared by a 5-4 vote of the Council. The second was Councilmember Rae Gabelich’s proposed map in response.
Prior to the July 5 council meeting, both Johnson and Gabelich had held public meetings wherein the two proposals were discussed. Therefore, the public attended the July 5 City Council meeting well informed of the pending decision to approve one of these two maps. 2) During the City Council meeting, time was allotted to the public to present their views on these maps. 3) After the public discussion was duly concluded, Councilperson Johnson (for the first time) moved that a new and different map (never previously disclosed to the public, even at the public meetings he himself had called) be accepted. His motion was seconded, and his map was accepted without public discussion. The meeting closed.  
I realize that there will be two more council meetings (July 19 and Aug. 2). These will probably be attended by those members of the public who have already spent their valuable time studying and discussing a plan which (it would seem) Councilperson Johnson himself foresaw might not meet public acceptance on July 5. Although he already obviously had another plan before that council meeting, he concealed that one from the public and only revealed it at the end of the session.
I am not saying that Councilperson Johnson did anything wrong; however, if the facts as I see them are correct, this is the type of behavior which would be a credit to a cunning poker player trying to win the pot, rather than to someone trying to serve the public good.
 
Jeremiah Flanigan
Long Beach

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